Accelerated cardiomyopathy in mice with overexpression of cardiac G(s)alpha and a missense mutation in the alpha-myosin heavy chain

Stefan E Hardt, Yong-Jian Geng, Olivier Montagne, Kuniya Asai, Chull Hong, Gui Ping Yang, Sanford P Bishop, Song-Jung Kim, Dorothy E Vatner, Christine E Seidman, J G Seidman, Charles J Homcy, Stephen F Vatner
Circulation 2002 February 5, 105 (5): 614-20

BACKGROUND: To understand further the pathogenesis of familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, we determined how the cardiomyopathy induced by an Arg403-->Gln missense mutation in the alpha-myosin heavy chain (403) is affected by chronically enhancing sympathetic drive by mating the mice with those overexpressing G(s)alpha (G(s)alpha x403).

METHODS AND RESULTS: Heart rate in 3-month-old conscious mice was elevated similarly (P<0.05) in mice overexpressing G(s)alpha (G(s)alpha mice; 746 +/- 14 bpm) and G(s)alpha x403 mice (718+/- 19 bpm) compared with littermate wild-type mice (WT; 623+/- 18 bpm) and 403 mice (594+/- 16 bpm). Left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), as determined by echocardiography, was enhanced in G(s)alpha x403 mice (88+/- 1%, P<0.001) compared with WT (69+/- 1%), 403 (75+/- 1%), and G(s)alpha (69 +/- 2%) mice. Isolated cardiomyocytes from G(s)alpha x403 mice also exhibited higher (P<0.001) baseline percent contraction (11.9+/- 0.5%) than WT (7.0+/- 0.5%), 403 (5.5+/- 0.5%), and G(s)alpha (7.8+/- 0.3%) cardiomyocytes. Relaxation of myocytes was impaired in 403 mice compared with WT but enhanced in G(s)alpha and normalized in G(s)alpha x403 mice. This was also observed in vivo. In vivo isoproterenol (0.1 microgram . kg(-1) . min(-1)) increased LVEF to maximal levels in G(s)alpha x403 and G(s)alpha, whereas in 403, the response was attenuated compared with WT. At 10 months of age, G(s)alpha x403 had significantly depressed LVEF (57 +/- 4%). Histopathological examination demonstrated that myocyte hypertrophy and fibrosis were already present in young G(s)alpha x403 mice and that old animals had severe cardiomyopathy. By 15 months of age, the survival of G(s)alpha x403 was 0% compared with 100% for WT, 71% for G(s)alpha, and 100% for 403 mice (P<0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: These results show that the cardiomyopathy developed by G(s)alpha x403 mice is synergistic rather than additive, most likely owing to the elevated baseline function combined with enhanced responsiveness to sympathetic stimulation.

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